Phoenix Rising: the First Day of the Rest of My Life

Three weeks ago I had a mid-life crisis. At 37.

It wasn’t pretty. It was a total breakdown of sorts — full of emotions, self-doubt, and painful reflection.

What am I doing with my life and how did I get here?

piano

I still can’t play piano.

That’s me playing the piano that I got for Christmas. I think the following year (maybe the next, I don’t know), I got a sweet KISS guitar. I didn’t really learn to play either of them at the time, but when I was 5, my parents started me with violin lessons. Those stuck. 32 years later I’m still playing, and learned along the way how to play guitar too (although the KISS edition is long gone).

In college I started my first band. I wrote and sang, and ran around the stage like an idiot, playing Mumford & Sons-like music long before Mumford & Sons (and way worse). But it was me, and authentic, and the happiest I’d been up to that point.

A few years after that I moved to New York City, chasing an idea of what I was supposed to do with my life. I returned a couple years later, broke and broken, chewed up and spit out.

And I’ve been chasing careers ever since.

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Creativity is Love

A Course In Miracles says that there are only two emotions: fear and love.  In the absence of one, there exists the other.  They’re opposites, antagonists, adversaries.

In a previous post I wrote about a similar relationship between fear and creativity.  In the absence of one, there exists the other.  They’re opposites, antagonists, adversaries.

Now, I’m sure I’m breaking every philosophical rule in the book, but since I’m a writer and never claimed to be smart I’m going to take this relationship one step further.  If fear is the exact opposite of creativity AND love, the two must be related.  In fact, creativity is love.

Creativity means different things for different people.  It could be more obvious things like playing music, painting, inventing, dancing, or writing.  But for me, I define creativity as just a physical manifestation of a thought or idea.  It doesn’t have to be something hanging in a gallery.  It’s about thinking, and dreaming, and then doing.  And that act of doing brings something amazing to this world that didn’t exist before it.  Every single time.  And we’re all better because of it.

When you’re being creative something truly awesome happens.  You get inspired (or in-Spirit, as Dr. Wayne Dyer likes to say), you get enthusiastic, you tap into whatever it is that makes us uniquely who we are.  You lose track of the time, you tend to forget about the bills or what’s for dinner, and almost always you give birth to the beginnings of some really cool stuff that comes from — guess where — a place of love.

But there’s another part to this whole creating thing.  When you’re creative, you’re giving something to the rest of us.  Something artistic, or thoughtful, or inspiring.  It’s always a gift, no matter how small.  And giving, completely and wholly and unselfishly, is an act of love.  Ask any mother.  There’s no doubt in my mind.

Creativity is love, both of ourselves and of each other.  It’s the absence of fear, coming from the purest parts of ourselves, and then sharing it with the world.

Every day we face a crossroads.  Which direction do we chose?  Do we start that novel, or violin lesson, or act on that new business idea. . . or do we find some excuse why we can’t?  We always, always have a choice.

Choose love.